Posted by Smokey Stover on February 22, 2008 at 18:13:
In Reply to: Re: You can't deal with your future... posted by pamela on February 19, 2008 at 01:18:
: : Can anyone help me? I'm in need of opinions of what this quote means. "You can't deal with your future until you know your past"
: There is another saying "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it" (or different versions of this). I think your quote is making the same point... maybe. I say maybe because your quote sounds like a pop psychology saying, whereas "Those who cannot remember..." is usually taken to be about history. Pamela
George Santayana wrote, "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it." He was a Harvard professor, so he might have meant, those who flunk history will have to take it over. No, he didn't mean that. He was referring to history, although it's from an autobiographical work.
As for the more personal version, "You can't deal with your future until you know your past," it may exist in some better-known form, but superficially it resembles the kind of advice Polonius might give, a version of "Know thyself." Don't make plans until you understand whom the plans are for, especially if the plans are for you.